Disrespectful thieves have pillaged a Vietnam war memorial display

DISRESPECT: Military museum curator Jeff Kenyon with a replacement slouch hat on display with some soldier's boots to commemorate the Battle of Long Tan.
DISRESPECT: Military museum curator Jeff Kenyon with a replacement slouch hat on display with some soldier's boots to commemorate the Battle of Long Tan.

Police are investigating the theft of “priceless” historic military items from the Port Pirie Returned Services League sub-branch.

MISSING: The stolen items were a Japanese World War II air-raid siren and a 'Digger's' slouch hat.

MISSING: The stolen items were a Japanese World War II air-raid siren and a 'Digger's' slouch hat.

A soldier’s slouch hat from the 1966 Battle of Long Tan in Vietnam was stolen six weeks ago and a Japanese World War II air-raid siren was grabbed about four weeks ago.

Both thefts were from the renowned military museum at the sub-branch, on The Terrace.

The sub-branch has now banned people from taking backpacks or bags into the museum because these could be used to smuggle out items.

The area where the slouch hat was stolen is thought to have been just outside the scope of a security camera in the museum.

“I am shocked and disgusted,” said museum curator Jeff Kenyon.

“I am appealing to these guys to either ring us or the police to return the items.

“They are priceless to us and to me. The theft is disrespectful to the men and women who served past and present and to the display recognising our efforts.

“They would have needed a bag to escape with the items. Our members are disgusted at the incident.

“The sad part of about it is the hat was on display with a cross remembering the fallen in the Battle of Long Tan.

“It is a terrible thing to show disrespect to the Australian defence forces. They put their lives on the line for their country.”

Police say that some time between August 31 and September 23 unknown persons took the items.

Several years ago, flags were stolen from outside the sub-branch.

Mr Kenyon said the thief may have a military collection of his own. He said the air-raid siren, which is operated by a crank handle, could be used to make noise at events such as a football match.

If you have seen the missing items, or have information, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or report online at crimestopperssa.com.au You can remain anonymous.

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